Bibiano Fernandes Extends Winning Streak With Split Decision Victory in Bangkok

MMA Weekly
Bibiano Fernandes Extends Winning Streak With Split Decision Victory in Bangkok
Bibiano Fernandes Extends Winning Streak With Split Decision Victory in Bangkok

Having knocked out multiple champions in multiple divisions Martin Nguyen represented possibly the toughest test Bibiano Fernandes has faced in his ONE Championship career. The fight could not have been closer with the Brazilian winning by split decision.

This bantamweight title match headlined ONE: Iron Will at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. There was nothing to choose between the two fighters going into the final round, although Fernandes had been cut and had also been warned twice for fouls.

Under ONE Championship scoring, one punch really can change the outcome of an entire fight, and that’s exactly what Fernandes’ right hand did in round five. It knocked Nguyen to the ground and completely changed the momentum of a contest that might have been heading in the Australian’s favor.

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Nguyen looked hurt and who knows what might have happened if Fernandes had thrown some follow-up strikes instead of working for a takedown? Up until that point, the fight had been something of a chess match with the Brazilian landing some low kicks, but struggling to score with takedowns.

At the end of the opening round, Nguyen landed a flying knee to the body and the reigning featherweight and lightweight champion seemed to be biding his time. The Australian is known for his devastating overhand right, but seemed more interested in throwing head kicks here.

He succeeded in keeping the first two rounds standing, but Nguyen couldn’t capitalize by landing any serious strikes. In the third, the challenger scored with stiff jabs, but was eventually taken down when Fernandes caught a kick and took his back.

The round finished with Fernandes in standing back mount and Nguyen showboating with a wiggle of the hips. As the referee separated them at the end of the third, it was clear that the Brazilian had sustained a serious cut to the face.

The fight was paused in the fourth so that Fernandes could get medical attention for the cut and the judges would have given Nguyen credit for doing this damage. The Brazilian was also warned for strikes to the back of the head towards the end of the round.

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Given the pedigree of the fighters involved, it would have been a shame if a foul had ultimately settled the fight. Fortunately, the fifth round provided some more decisive action with Fernandes landing the right hand that knocked Nguyen down and probably settled the fight.

The win takes the Brazilian to 22-3, while Nguyen drops to 10-2. The belt was presented to Fernandes by WBC flyweight world champion and reigning HBO ‘Fighter of the Year’ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who was a special guest at cageside.

Earlier in the evening, lightweight Shannon Wiratchai (9-2-0-1) scored a devastating one-punch knockout against Rahul Raja (4-2), with the finish coming just 21 seconds into the opening round. Strawweight Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (8-4) didn’t fare so well, he was knocked out by Jeremy Miado (7-2) after 1:21 0f their bout.

ONE Championship: Iron Will Results

  • ONE Bantamweight World Championship bout: Bibiano Fernandes defeats Martin Nguyen by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds

  • Strawweight bout: Jeremy Miado defeats Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke by Knockout (KO) at 1:29 minutes of round 1

  • Lightweight bout: Shannon Wiratchai defeats Rahul Raju by Knockout (KO) at 0:21 minutes of round 1

  • Women’s atomweight bout: Angelie Sabanal defeats Rika Ishige by Unanimous Decision (UD)

  • Lightweight bout: Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev defeats Tetsuya Yamada by Submission (Armbar) at 2:51 minutes of round 3

  • Featherweight bout: Waqar Umar defeats Zhao Zhi Kang by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:21 minutes of round 1

  • Lightweight bout: Garry Tonon defeats Richard Corminal by TKO (Strikes) at 3:40 minutes of round 2

  • Strawweight bout: Kritsada Kongsrichai defeats Robin Catalan by TKO (Slam) at 1:40 minutes of round 1

  • Light Heavyweight bout: Alain Ngalani defeats Ariunbold Tur-Ochir by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds

  • Middleweight bout: Gilberto Galvao defeats Jake Butler by TKO (Strikes) at 0:07 minutes of round 2

  • Bantamweight bout: Sunoto defeats Hisyam Samsudin by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds

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